Voters in the Bend-La Pine School District have approved borrowing $268 million for repairs and new construction.
The bond measure passed with 59.21 percent of votes cast in favor, and 40.79 percent opposed, as of early Wednesday morning.
School district leaders say the money is needed for 159 projects that will take four years to complete. That includes a new elementary school and a new high school.
“Capacity challenges are really severe at both our elementary schools and our high schools,” said Shay Mikalson, superintendent for Bend-La Pine Schools.
The district grew by 5,000 students between 2000 and 2016, and administrators expect another 3,000 students in the next decade. Half of the district’s 18 elementary schools are at or over capacity and all the high schools in Bend are over capacity.
Mikalson has set a target date to open the elementary school in 2019 and the new high school by 2021.
The bond will cost the typical homeowner about $84 a year. There’s been almost no organized opposition. The Bend Chamber of Commerce and several other of the city’s largest civic groups supported the borrowing measure.